Central Pollution Control Board threatens NHAI with ₹1 crore fine

It says highways authority allowed construction and demolition waste pile up along the Delhi Meerut Expressway

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has threatened to fine the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) ₹1 crore for letting construction and demolition waste pile up and not taking steps to address dust pollution along the Delhi Meerut Expressway in the stretch between UP Gate and Dasna. It has, in a letter dated June 11, accused the NHAI of dumping construction waste in the grounds of the Ghazipur vegetable market.

This is not the first time that the CPCB has upbraided the NHAI. Last October, it ordered the road-planning agency to stop construction because dust from the making of the Delhi-Meerut highway was significantly polluting the air. The NHAI had complied and this stop-order was withdrawn. This May, a CPCB team in the course of inspection saw that the NHAI was again lax with implementing air pollution control measures, the CPCB letter signed by S.P. Parihar, Chairman, CPCB, notes.

Specifically, the CPCB team observed that “…construction material and excavated soil were being kept along the roadside without any cover” and there was “no display arrangement for construction and demolition waste management”.

Guidelines regarding how agencies must manage such waste are specified in the Construction and Waste Management Guidelines, 2016 and these derive sanctity from the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

Construction and demolition waste are a key cause of air pollution in Delhi. Last year, the CPCB told the Supreme Court that the bulk of complaints by citizens were due to such waste being improperly dumped or left uncovered. Incidents of waste burning were highest in East Delhi and illegal industrial activities were rampant in the north-western part of the city, the court was told.

The CPCB is one of the agencies that is charged with implementing the Graded Action Plan, authorised by the Supreme Court, to check the stratospheric levels of air pollution in Delhi.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 2:47:28 AM |

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